Ready or Not?

When it is not possible to go fishing, your mind starts to play tricks on you.  The mind has a way to trick you into trying something before your physical side is ready.

I was recently the recipient of yet another back surgery.  The latest in a 6 part mini series.  This time it was to remove hardware that was irritating some nerve endings making it almost impossible to fish an entire day.  The surgeries before this one were also an effort to improve my quality of life but were almost always in vain.

On operation numbers 3 or 4, the doctors decided to install some rods in my back to help keep the spine straight but this failed miserably.  So this latest hack job was to remove above stated hardware.  This is where the mind games come in.  After about 3 weeks of recuperating I was up and walking, though very slowly at first.  I was indeed walking with the aid of a cane.  It was also around this time that my mind was telling me to get back on the boat and do what I feel I was born to do, Bass Fishing.

Well, after taking handfuls of my medication, I hooked the boat up to the truck and proceeded to the boat launch.  There is no doctor in the world that can tell you if you are ready for a day on the lake after a surgery.  Only you will know if you’re ready.

Soon after launching the boat and traveling a couple of miles to a honey hole that had produced for me in the past.  I picked up my rod with a shallow diving crank bait, reared back and let the bait fly.  Big Mistake!  Not only did I feel like every nerve in my back split wide open, I was left in a bending position that I couldn’t recover from.  I felt like the last 3 weeks of recovery never happened and I had left the hospital only the day before.  Somehow I mustered up the strength to lift the trolling motor and started back to the boat ramp.  I knew from that first cast I was not ready to be out on the water and now had to find a way to get the boat home.  Thank goodness for some great new friends I now have who came to my rescue after arriving back at the launch.  They approached me asking how I had done, as they were just heading out, I explained to them my situation and they were only too happy to help me put the boat back on the trailer.  I am also very lucky to live just seconds away from the boat ramp.  So in retrospect, When I thought I was ready to be out there on the water I wasn’t, Period.  I needed more time to heal.

Whatever the reason, be it physical or mechanical, don’t let your mind play tricks on you.  Make damn sure you are ready to be out there.  Otherwise, the damage you are recovering from can set you back to where you might never go again.  I was lucky in where I did not do any further damage and only needed another couple weeks of healing before I was back out on the water.  I learned that it takes a lot more than just thinking about what it takes to be on the water, it also takes knowing that you are ready to be there.

Scott Perratti
“The Rockin’ Angler”

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